Powerline opponents meet to talk about game plan
CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — Opponents of a proposal to construct 29 miles of high-voltage power lines cutting through Franklin County, Pa., rallied Monday night at Chambersburg Middle School South.
Meanwhile, the company hired to construct the lines said the project is on track.
More than 100 people attended a meeting of Stop Transource Franklin County to share information and talk strategy aimed at halting the proposed project.
They questioned the need for it, and said it would hurt property values and ruin the scenic beauty of the area while providing little benefit and costing acres of land in rights of way.
Transource Energy LLC has been hired by PJM Interconnection, which coordinates and directs the operation of the region’s transmission grid, to construct the $320 million project. In an August 2016 news release, PJM said the project was “to strengthen the grid and reduce electricity costs.”
Called the Independence Energy Connection, the project includes 45 miles of 230-kilovolt overhead lines on 135-foot monopoles — 16 miles mostly from York County, Pa., to Harford County, Md., and 29 miles from Ringgold, Md., to Shippensburg, Pa.
Transource held public meetings earlier this year and named its preferred routes in October. The company’s timeline was to file siting applications with regulators before the end of the year.
Transource spokeswoman Abby Foster said Monday in an email that the company still is working toward filing the application with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.
A number of people at Monday’s meeting shared feelings about the proposed project, and presented suggestions and ideas.
“This project will be immensely detrimental to agriculture, tourism, property values and the scenic beauty of Franklin County,” said Lane Sollenberger of Chambersburg. “This project will bring no monetary value to Franklin County. It’s not needed to strengthen the electrical grid.”
Foster previously told Herald-Mail Media that electric lines and farming have co-existed for decades as the country’s electric grid developed.